McCarthy lashes out at Cawthorn, says rep returned coke-and-orgy claims

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) admitted on Wednesday that his House Republican colleagues don’t do cocaine and orgies, as he claimed during a recent podcast interview, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters.

Cawthorn met with McCarthy (R-Calif.) and said some of his comments were untrue or “exaggerated,” the Republican leader told reporters in a Capitol hall after he sat down with the 26-year-old lawmaker.

“In the interview, he claims that he has seen people use cocaine,” McCarthy told a group of reporters, Axios reported. “Then when he comes in, he tells me, he says he thinks he may have seen an employee in a parking garage 100 yards away.”

It’s unclear whether Cawthorn specifically admitted to McCarthy that the orgies’ claim was untrue — sparking a storm of jokes and social media speculation.

One Twitter user posted a photo of a Republican senator at a committee hearing with disheveled hair and jokingly insisted, “I believe the cocaine orgy story.”

“It’s just frustrating,” McCarthy told reporters. “There is no evidence behind his statements. And when I sat down with him… I said to him, “As a member of Congress, you can’t make statements like that that affect everyone and the country as a whole.”

McCarthy said Cawthorn told him the claims were either false or “exaggerated”.
Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The GOP leader added that he told Cawthorn that “he has lost my trust, he will have to earn it back, and I have explained everything I find inappropriate.”

“You can’t just say, ‘You can’t do this again.’ I mean, he’s, he’s got a lot of members very upset,’ he continued.

During an interview with the “Warrior Poet Society” podcast last week, Cawthorn compared Capitol Hill to the corrupt and sexually charged environment portrayed in the Netflix series “House of Cards.”

“The sexual perversion taking place in Washington. I mean, as a kind of young guy in Washington, where the average age is probably 60 or 70… [you] look at all these people, many of them that I’ve looked up to all my life, I’ve always paid attention to politics,” Cawthorn said.

Cawthorn said in a podcast interview that Capitol Hill is similar to the Netflix show
Cawthorn said in a podcast interview that Capitol Hill is similar to the Netflix show “House of Cards.”
atrick Harbron/©Netflix/courtesy Everett Collection

“Then you are suddenly invited. “We’re going to have a sexual drink at one of our houses, you have to come.” “What did you just ask me to come for?” And then you realize they’re asking you to come to an orgy.”

Cawthorn also claimed to have seen politicians snorting cocaine.

“You see them do a lump of cocaine right in front of you,” he said. “And it’s like, this is wild.”

McCarthy also said Cawthorn had lost confidence after his statements.
McCarthy also said Cawthorn had lost confidence after his statements.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Cawthorn’s accusations outraged many of his fellow Republican lawmakers.

The young wheelchair-bound representative previously angered colleagues by referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as “a thug” and berating a staffer for Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) for accidentally listing him as an account sponsor.

Despite handwritten apologies to McKlinley and his staffer, the West Virginia Republican asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate Cawthorn’s behavior.

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